About the Project

What do garden designers consider when creating combinations of spring-blooming flower bulbs, perennials and flowering trees and shrubs? Beyond the basics, what criteria do they weigh to take a combo to a higher plane of beauty? How do they balance short-term delight with long-term efficiency? How do designers script their plant partnerships so that they’ll unfold sequentially, week after week, as winter morphs into spring and spring into summer? How do they accommodate bulb foliage die-back where naturalizing is a goal? How do they deal with foraging animals?

The bulb experts at Colorblends thought it would be interesting to explore how some accomplished garden design professionals approach these questions.

"We reached out to three designers whose work we admire and asked if they'd be willing to share the thinking behind some of their successful spring bulb and perennial combinations. All three generously agreed," says Tim Schipper of Colorblends, a national flower bulb wholesaler.

Bulb Design Notes explores the practical choices that go into creating plant partnerships that:

  • deliver high performance in spring,
  • then transition gracefully into early summer.

As part of the informal project, each designer chose five or more photos of spring bulb and perennial combinations they'd designed and provided design notes on each. Their photos and observations are assembled into personal galleries. Combined, the galleries present images of 20 garden scenarios. All scenes are annotated with plant IDs, location, hardiness zone and design notes. Choose any image to enlarge it.

The resulting mix of spring garden types, design goals and practical solutions offers plenty to think about for gardeners of all stripes and locales.

The project features:

Colorblends is a Connecticut-based flower bulb wholesaler that sells direct to landscape professionals and home gardeners nationwide, with a minimum order of $60. For spring bulb blends and more, visit Colorblends.com or call 1-888-847-8637.

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